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J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jul;7(7 Suppl):s7-12.

Natural antioxidants.

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Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


The constant exposure of the skin to oxidative stress results in damage to cellular DNA and cell membrane lipids and proteins. To combat this problem, the skin contains a number of antioxidants that protect against oxidative injury. However, these cutaneous antioxidants can be depleted by sun exposure and environmental insults, resulting in an overload of oxidation products. Thus, topical antioxidants that replenish the antioxidant capacity of the skin have the potential to prevent oxidative damage. A number of natural antioxidant ingredients also have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used in the treatment of oxidative damage such as photoaging and perhaps even skin cancer. This article summarizes the active components, pharmacologic properties, and clinical effectiveness of a number of natural antioxidant ingredients including soy, feverfew, mushroom extracts, teas, Coffea arabica (CoffeeBerry), Pinus pinaster (Pycnogenol), and Polypodium leucotomos. Recent clinical trials suggest that these compounds have promising efficacy in the topical treatment of oxidative stress-induced dermatoses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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